- At age 25, within seven months of graduating from Ohio State’s law school, Tom became the youngest District Attorney in the State of Wisconsin when appointed to the post by the late Governor Lee S. Dreyfus, Sr. At age 26, Tom won a contested election to retain that post. At age 27, after having tried a dozen criminal jury trials (winning 11) and eschewing a political career, Tom resigned from the post to become a federal prosecutor in Madison, Wisconsin
- Tom is the holder of two U.S. utility patents for a computer-related device that he invented in the early 1990s. U.S. 6,962,311, and U.S. 6,648,282. Both patents were awarded after Tom, representing himself, appealed adverse determinations made by the Patent and Trademark Office’s examiner. Although not a patent lawyer, Tom prevailed almost completely in both of the appeals which he briefed and argued before the former Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI)
- While in private law-firm practice, Tom has never held any position other than partner, shareholder, or member; he was never an associate or counsel
- Tom’s name appears as counsel on over 60 reported federal court opinions
- Interests (beyond law, faith, and family): Avid golfer since age 12; collector of classic Wilson Sporting Goods Co. sand irons and wedges; Ohio State and Big Ten football, basketball, and wrestling; Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture and furniture; antique prints, especially of birds and landscapes; U.S. history; and genealogy.
- Recent producer of a series of 14 YouTube videos on Wilson Staff Dyna-Powered golf wedges made between 1956-1975 — heavy, forged wedges that once ruled the professional golf world and that are still coveted and used today by golf cognoscenti. A definitive reference work, produced for avid golfers and club collectors. Data-driven technical guide, reflecting information about this coveted golf equipment that is unavailable anywhere else. To see the trailer for the 14 episodes, go to: https://youtu.be/OLq8h6bAy6M.
- Recent producer of YouTube video about Lone Star Dietz (1884-1964), a trailblazing Native American who is deserving of renewed respect. Over the last 15 years, some 50 years after his death in 1964, Mr. Dietz’s claim of Native American heritage was unfairly disputed by activists opposed to the name of the NFL team now known as the Washington Football Team, with the activists calling him a “liar,” “faker,” a “phony,” an “imposter,” and so on. Photographs c. 1905-1908, when Mr. Dietz was in his early 20’s and depicting Mr. Dietz in Native American brave regalia, have recently emerged from the locale where Mr. Dietz and Tom grew up. This self-proclamation, at young age and when racism against Native Americans was common, support his claim of Native American Heritage, made consistently from those years until his death in 1964. The talented, accomplished, ambitious, and courageous Mr. Dietz was a protege of Charles Scobey “Pop” Warner at the Carlisle Institute; the only football coach to have guided Washington State University to a Rose Bowl victory (in 1916); the first Head Coach of the NFL team now known as the Washington Football Team (in 1933-1934); and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Journalists and activists also mischaracterized the meaning and effect of a “no contest” plea that Mr. Dietz made in 1919 in a dubious federal prosecution for evading the draft when he claimed an exemption based upon his Native American heritage. Mr. Sykes, a former federal prosecutor, will show that pleas of this type do not admit guilt or any facts establishing guilt, and that it was deeply unfair for journalists and activists to dredge up the no-contest plea to attack Mr. Dietz’s claim of Native American heritage. Go to: https://youtu.be/7rrLPJ9-o18.